Clinton On The Verge With Big Wins In Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware

By Ikenga Chronicles April 27, 2016

Clinton On The Verge With Big Wins In Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware

Hillary Clinton is on the verge of victory in the Democratic presidential primary, winning in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware on Tuesday night. Her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, won in Rhode Island.

Clinton already appeared to be on the path toward clinching the race and becoming the first female major party presidential nominee on April 19, when she earned a victory in her home state of New York. At that point, Sanders was left with an extremely slim chance of earning enough delegates to secure the party’s nomination. Tonight, that possibility all but closed.

Even before Clinton’s four victories, Sanders needed to win every remaining state in the Democratic primary by more than 13 points to surpass her in delegates, a scenario that no polls have predicted. Clinton would be the first female presidential nominee from the Democratic or Republican Party.

At the Philadelphia Convention Center, Clinton took the stage to the song “Eye of the Tiger.” In a nod to the movie “Rocky,” which is set in the city, she declared the evening a “great night” and looked ahead to the official end of the primary process.

“With your help, we’re going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates,” Clinton said. “And we will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together, an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

Clinton’s remarks included several lines that have not been in her standard stump speech thus far, in which she acknowledged the surprisingly strong challenge Sanders has mounted and some of the core issues of his platform. After starting as a long shot, Sanders earned a string of victories against Clinton by painting her as insufficiently progressive and criticizing her ties to Wall Street and corporate megadonors. In her speech, Clinton argued that Democrats are largely in agreement on these issues.

“We will build on a strong progressive tradition, from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama, and I applaud Sen. Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and to give greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality,” Clinton said. “I know together we will get that done, because whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us.”

After the speech, Clinton’s campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri spoke to Yahoo News. Palmieri discussed the Democratic primary in the past tense.

“We had a number of wins tonight. We’re very grateful for them. It’s more clear that she’ll be the nominee. She’s grateful to have won the state of Pennsylvania and to be coming back here in 14 weeks to accept her party’s nomination,” Palmieri said, adding, “We are looking back now on the primary … we’re winding down. We have — there’s, I believe, seven weeks left to go in a process that’s been going on for a year. And, as we look back on how the primary unfolded … the process, we believe was to our party’s benefit and to our campaign’s benefit.”

Palmieri said the primary made Clinton a “more tested, stronger candidate” and also left the Democratic Party “positioned well for the general.”

“The issues that were raised in our primary and the issues that brought more than 10 million voters out to vote for Hillary Clinton are the same economic issues that we think are going to be forefront in the general election and on the minds of general election voters,” said Palmieri. “So, that is, how do you increase wages? How do you create jobs? How can you help people afford college? How can you make their health care more affordable?”

Palmieri went on to argue that there was no need for Clinton’s campaign to “make a general election pivot” and “talk about different issues.”

“For the Democrats, that’s what our primary has been about. It’s been about the same kind of economic issues, as well as issues of national security, that we think voters across the board care about,” Palmieri said.

On the other side of the aisle, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump earned a sweep on Tuesday night, with wins in all five states. Yahoo News asked Palmieri if the Clinton campaign would be glad to face Trump in the general election rather than another GOP candidate.

“That is on the list of things I have no control over. We will deal with … whoever they choose,” Palmieri said. “But whoever they choose, their personalities might be different, but they are similar on issues Hillary Clinton laid out tonight. They all want to overturn Roe v. Wade, none of them believe that we should raise the minimum wage, they’re not going to combat climate change, not going to fight to overturn Citizens United.”

Heading into Tuesday’s contests, the Sanders campaign indicated this would be a pivotal turning point in the Democratic race. In an interview with the New York Times, Sanders’ senior adviser, Tad Devine, said his team would re-examine its approach based on the night’s returns. However, Devine was clear that Sanders would remain in the running, no matter what.

“If we are sitting here and there’s no sort of mathematical way to do it, we will be upfront about that,” Devine said. “If we have a really good day, we are going to continue to talk about winning most of the pledged delegates, because we will be on a path toward it. If we don’t get enough today to make it clear that we can do it by the end, it’s going to be hard to talk about it. That’s not going to be a credible path. Instead, we will talk about what we intend to do between now and the end, and how we can get there.”

Sanders took the stage at a packed arena in Huntington, W.Va., shortly after the results were announced in Maryland, and told his supporters they are “revolutionaries” who can be “powerful” if they take on the country’s ultrawealthy. As he has throughout the primary, Sanders mocked the media for dismissing him as a “fringe candidate” when he jumped into the race a year ago.

“We’re taking on the most powerful political organization in America,” Sanders said, referring to Clinton’s campaign.

He emphasized the 17 contests his campaign has won so far. Sanders also pointed to poll results to make the case he would perform better than Clinton in the general election, an argument his campaign has made as it attempts to persuade delegates to switch sides. He referred to national polls that show him performing better against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump than Clinton does and indications that he has greater support from independents.

“That is the point that I hope the delegates to the Democratic convention fully understand,” he said. “In the general election, everyone, Democrat and Republican, has a right to vote for the president.”

Sanders did not criticize Clinton for her ties to Wall Street or paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, although he has brought up those issues throughout his campaign, including just last week. This is a pronounced change in tone, with Sanders making the case for why he is a better nominee than Clinton, while backing away from direct attacks on her that could hurt her in the general election.

After his speech, the candidate released a statement explicitly shifting his focus from winning the nomination to fighting “for a progressive party platform” at the Democratic National Convention in July.

 

Source: Yahoo News

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